News / Asia

Protesters Rally in China, Philippines Against S. China Sea Claim

Protesters march towards the Chinese consulate during a rally in Manila's financial district of Makati, Philippines, May 11, 2012.
Protesters march towards the Chinese consulate during a rally in Manila's financial district of Makati, Philippines, May 11, 2012.
Activists opposed to China’s territorial claims in the South China Sea marched on the Chinese embassy in Manila Friday, further escalating the two countries’ territorial dispute.

Huangyan Island is a small, rocky outcrop of land about 220 kilometers from the Philippine mainland of Luzon. Tensions in the region escalated on April 10 when the Philippines accused Chinese vessels of illegally fishing in Philippine territory.

China has long claimed sovereignty over the islands, called the Scarborough Shoal in the Philippines.

On Friday, foreign ministry spokesperson Hong Lei blamed the Philippines for rising tensions between the two countries. He said the Philippines side encouraged people to hold anti-China embassy protests, an action that complicates and magnifies the situation.  

Hong said China pays great attention to the safety of Chinese nationals in the Philippines and has demanded the Philippines take effective measures to earnestly protect the safety of Chinese nationals and institutions in the Philippines.  

The dispute has become an issue of national pride for some Chinese. Small groups of protesters marched in front of the Philippine embassy in Beijing, Friday.

"I believe this Huayuan Island is an inseparable part of China.  I hope their governments don’t make this a cause for bad relations," one protester said.

The protest in Manila was much larger than the one in Beijing. Hundreds of protesters marched in front of the Chinese embassy - many carrying placards that read:  “China Back Off.” 

“The main objective of the protest action is to call the attention of the international community with regards to the Chinese government’s continuing and escalating intrusions in the Panatag [Scarborough] shoal area which we strongly believe is an integral part of the Philippine territory,” explained Emma Hizon, one of the organizers.

The standoff escalated in April when China sent two maritime surveillance ships to prevent the Philippines from arresting Chinese fishermen off Huangyan Island. A Philippines coast guard vessel is currently facing off with the two Chinese ships.  

Several countries claim parts of the South China Sea, including Vietnam, Brunei, Malaysia and Taiwan. The waterway is a strategically important trade route and a potentially rich source of oil and natural gas in the region. But Chinese officials have ramped up warnings in recent weeks about the territorial dispute, with state-backed newspapers warning of “small-scale war” if the Philippines does not back off.

China warned its citizens in the Philippines to be cautious and the China International Travel Service, a large government-run travel agency, said it was postponing trips to the Philippines because of the protests. The standoff is also affecting trade between the two countries. In what may be a punitive action by the Chinese government, 1,200 containers of bananas from the Philippines are being held in customs because of what authorities say are "quarantine concerns".

Meanwhile civic groups in the Philippines say they are planning more protests outside of Chinese missions in New York, Singapore and Rome.  


 

You May Like

African States Push to Keep Boko Haram Offline

Central African telecoms ministers working with Nigeria to block all videos posted by Boko Haram in effort to blunt Nigerian militant group's propaganda More

Falling Oil Prices, Internet-Savvy Youth Pose Challenge for Gulf Monarchies

Across the Gulf, younger generations are putting a strain on traditional politics More

Philippines Call Center Workers Face Challenges

Country has world’s largest business process outsourcing, or BPO, industry, employing some one-million workers More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Wangchuk from: NYC
May 18, 2012 10:09 AM
When it comes to territory, the PRC is extremely hegemonistic. They invaded Tibet & East Turkestan in 1949-50. They invaded India in 1962 & still occupy Indian territory. They attacked Vietnam in 1979. Now the PRC claims all of the S. China Sea even those these waters are showed by many nations including Philippines & Vietnam. It's time Asian nations stoop up to the Middle Kingdom & say "Enough!"

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More